Beniffer 2.0 is doomed to divorce, Jennifer Lopez’s first husband says.
Ojani Noa, 48, claims his ex-wife ‘loves being in love’ but loses interest after the passion in his marriages collapsed, the Daily Mail reported.
Noa — who met J-Lo when he was a Cuban refugee waiting tables in Miami — has kept a low profile since his year-long union with former “In Living Color” Fly Girl disbanded in 1998. He told the outlet about her recent nuptials to Ben Affleck brought back a rush of old memories.
“Ben is husband number four. I was husband number one and she told me I was the love of her life. When we went to bed on our wedding night, she said we would be together forever,” he told the outlet.
Along with being married four times, Lopez, 53, has been engaged six times, including twice to the “Good Will Hunting” actor, some 20 years apart.
Noa fled Cuba on an inflatable boat at the age of 15 and survived the 90 mile journey to the United States. He found work washing dishes at Gloria Estefan’s Ocean Drive restaurant, Lario’s On The Beach, when he was 22.
“Miami was buzzing. I did modeling. I shoved. I wanted the American dream – and I found it when Jen walked into Lario’s,” he reportedly said.
“I had no idea who she was. Our eyes looked at each other and I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.
The following night, Lopez returned to the bar and Noa served her another customer’s fries after saying they looked “delicious,” according to the report.
“I was smitten. She was wearing a white top and pants, and I remember thinking she had the most beautiful body I had ever seen. She told me later that she knew the first night, she was going to marry me,” Noa reportedly recalled.
Later that night, the duo partied at a club called Commune, according to Noa.
“When we got to the club, my friend Leo took Jen to the dance floor and I thought, ‘Oh man, you’re a lucky guy. So [her friend] said, ‘When they come back, take Jen there. She is interested in you.
“They come back and I take her hand and lead her to the floor, and a slow song starts. It was electric. She was shaking and said, “You make me nervous.
“We could both feel the romantic energy. It was instantaneous and intense. Like it was surging through our bodies. I said, ‘I feel the same way you do.’ I lifted her chin and gave her a kiss – it was a kiss like we had known each other forever.
As the two shared a goodnight kiss, a passerby exclaimed, “Oh my God, it’s Jennifer Lopez from ‘Money Train,'” Noa recalled. “That’s when I realized maybe she was someone.”
“The next morning, my pager rings. Jen was supposed to see me before her flight. The door opens and I open it and she falls into my arms. We kissed and as she drove off in her limo, she turned around like in the movies and I thought, ‘This is it. It’s crazy,” Noa told the Mail.
While Lopez was in Los Angeles, Noa spoke to her frequently from the restaurant’s phone booth, according to the Mail. Upon returning to Florida, the actress invited him to be her date for the premiere of “Blood and Wine.”
“I rented a cheap suit. We got to the red carpet, there were all these flashing lights and screaming fans. I started to feel sick. I walked on the carpet holding her hand, then stood to the side as she gave interviews.
“I heard her say, ‘Jack, I want you to meet my date, Ojani.’ I turned around and she was introducing me to Jack Nicholson. Then she said, ‘This is Michael’ – and it was Michael Caine. I felt like I was in a movie. A few years earlier, I was sure a dinghy in the ocean, running away from Fidel Castro, and now I’m on a red carpet. Michael Caine was lovely. He said, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.’ »
After the premier, the couple consummated their relationship, Noa told the outlet.
“It was our first time having sex. It was perfect. She was perfect. We lay there afterwards and she said, ‘I want you to be in my life forever. I love you.’ I felt like Mr. Cinderella,” he reportedly said.
Noa said he believed the relationship was working because he was unimpressed with her fame.
“She’s a traditional girl. She comes from a humble Puerto Rican family. She wanted someone to protect her, someone to defend her. We totally fell in love,” he said, according to the article.
“I quit my job and moved to Los Angeles. We lived in a nice apartment. But soon we moved into our first house and then the houses kept getting bigger. She loved that I was a balseros [rafter] from Cuba. I never wanted anything from her. I always worked and had my own money,” he said of living with the Bronx native.
“We had been together for about six months when she had ‘Selena.’ She didn’t think she was good enough. In the middle of the night she would burst into tears. I comforted her and told her she was the best, she was killing her.
“She loves to shop, and when she wasn’t filming, we would go to the local mall. One day we walked into a jewelry store and she started looking at rings. She pointed to one and said, ‘J love this one.
“She left and I pretended I needed to go to the bathroom. I snuck into the store and told the girl to put it aside. I had money aside. I had worked as a personal trainer, but I also had money for modeling. The ring cost $15,000 – a fortune at the time. I hid the ring in a plastic bag behind the sink.
Noa proposed to Lopez during the closing party of the critically acclaimed film, according to the report.
“Everyone was applauding. I knelt down and gave her the ring. She was crying and laughing and said ‘Yes!’ “, he would have remembered.
Tensions grew when Lopez’s mother berated her for deciding to get married in Florida instead of the Bronx, according to the article.
“Jen would be in tears all the time. His mother was calling him and yelling at him, trying to get him to change places. So I called [Jen’s mother Guadalupe Lopez] Lupe and said, ‘You have to stop this.’ It was a big mistake. From then on, there was tension between me and Lupe.
Lopez quickly began to change with the increase in money and fame, the spurned lover reportedly said.
“She went from Jen to J-Lo, this big company that makes millions. She had all these new people around her, all wanting to make money with her. I called and an assistant said, ‘Sorry, she’s not available.’ »
When Noa was tasked with launching Lopez’s LA nightclub, he would see published photos of his wife with Puff Daddy, who produced some of his music in New York, according to the article.
“I called Jen and asked her why she was going out with him on dates and she said, ‘It’s just business. That’s what I’m told I have to do. I was jealous and shouted, “But you’re married!”
“We wanted children, we discussed having children. Then she told me she couldn’t have a baby because it would hurt her career,” he said.
Noa and Lopez went on Oprah, where she denied the marriage was in trouble.
“Our whole life has become a lie,” Noa said, recalling how he lost 40 pounds from the stress of the facade.
“We went to the Golden Globes and sat down with Jack [Nicholson]. He said, “You look so happy.” I told him, ‘It’s not what it seems.’ He told me to hang in there. I never thought I would get relationship advice from Jack Nicholson.
After 11 months, the couple divorced and Lopez publicly dated Puff Daddy soon after.
Noa ended up with $50,000 in a settlement agreement and continued to wear her ring as the two remained close, according to the report.
“There were times when she told me she wanted to get back together. In the quiet moments she would say, ‘I need you in my life. I don’t want to lose you’. remembered Noa.
Lopez’s brief marriage to Chris Rudd dissolved and Affleck popped the question for the first time before she officially split from her backup dancer.
Two years later, in 2004, Lopez will marry Marc Anthony. The couple remained together for 10 years.
The actress hired Noa to run a restaurant in Los Angeles around 2002 but fired him three years later. He sued her, settled down and moved back to Florida where he did not remarry, according to the article.
Noa said he thinks he could have made it last with “Jenny From The Block” if it hadn’t been for “parasites that feed on celebrities” and media reports calling him a “waiter. penniless,” according to the report.
“I wish him and Ben the best, but I’m not convinced it will last,” Ojani said.
“I think he’s someone who’s going to get married seven or eight times. I never see her settling down with just one person. She pushes herself to constantly move forward in her professional life, which is why she has had a career spanning three decades, but she also moves forward in her private life.
“If Ben has Lupe by his side, maybe he has a chance,” Ojani told the Mail with a smile.